A car has crashed into a wild elephant on Si Sawat road. On that road the maximum speed is 60 km. The punishment for hitting the wild elephant? 10 years in prison, and 1 million baht.
Mr. Niphon Chamnongsirisak Director of the Office of Conservation Area 3 revealed that under the orders of the government they are taking action to solve the problem of car crashes. Cars causing injuries to both people and wild elephants are a true phenomena in the area. The areas with the most car crashes are: the area of Road No. 1399, Dong Wang Subdistrict, Chong Sadao Subdistrict, Mueang District, the Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuaryn and Kanchanaburi Province.
We placed a total of 35 signs spread on clearly visible places over 15km of road– Mr. Niphon, Director of Wildlife Conservation Division
Niphon, Director of Wildlife Conservation Division, have placed warning signs such as -Beware of wild elephants crossing the road- and -Driving into a wild elephant is punishable by fines and even imprisonment- and -Please beware of the wild elephants- and -Do not drive faster than 60 km per hour-. Signs have been put up in all high risk areas on both sides of the road. “We placed a total of 35 signs spread on clearly visible places over 15 km of road,” says Mr. Niphon.
Mr. Niphon emphasizes that drivers at any speed can see the warning signs. If drivers are still disobeying and driving at high speed and hit a wild elephant or any other wild animal that crosses the road and was injured or killed in the Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary
And from now on, Mr. Paitoon, head of Salakpra forest sanctuary, will prosecute the driver of a car crash into a wild elephant immediately under section 12 of the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act 2019. Driving a car into a wild elephant, causing danger, injury or death, shall be punishable with up to 10 years of imprisonment or a fine up to 1 million baht, or both. Drivers also have to pay compensation for the value of the injured or dead wild elephants. Hundreds of thousands of baht per rope, according to Section 87 and 88 of the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act B.E. 2562, regardless of whether a motorist hit a wild elephant, the driver deliberately hit a wild elephant or the driver was negligent in hitting a wild elephant.
Mr. Niphon also said that if you commit a hit and run, you will be punished under the Land Traffic Act, Section 78. Whoever drives in a way causing damage to persons or property must stop the car to provide assistance, along with immediately showing and reporting the incident to the competent official nearby. This is regardless whether the driver is wrong or not. If the driver fails to do so, he will be punished with imprisonment, not exceeding 3 months, and fined from 2,000 baht to 10,000 baht, or both for the hit and run.
However, Mr. Niphon believes the implementation of warning signs to beware of wild elephants along both sides of the road and the actions taken against the driver of a car crash into a wild elephant, will help fix the problem. Driving over the speed limits will be a lot less likely with all the warning signs reminding drivers to drive slowely. The driver now sees warning signs for wild elephants everywhere. Because of these signs, driving a car into a wild elephant won’t happen again or a lot less, hopefully.